I wasn't very far along in my work when I glanced over to the pack 'n play and saw that not only was Eli awake and grinning at me, but he was standing. In the pack 'n play. Where he just pulled himself up for the bazillionth time. He turned eight months this weekend.
But as I stared into Eli's muddy blue eyes and grinned in return to his impish smile, I couldn't help but think about how I've lived through this before. I've seen babies perform milestones ahead of time or on time. I've seen babies perform milestones super late with tons and tons of therapy helping them.
And this morning as I looked at the tiniest, pudgy hands grabbing hold of the pack 'n play to balance himself on his two chubby legs- I couldn't help but think that in the long run, none of this matters.
Don't get me wrong- I am immensely proud of my little boy. He works hard and things have been coming easily to him. I love to see his progress.
Early milestone development or late milestone development does not make a child greater or lesser. It just is.
As I stared at the pudgy thighs that my baby was balancing himself on like he was born to do this- I thought of Addison's countless hours of therapy. I thought of the success when she finally achieved this same skill at around 2. I thought of Carter, how his legs were even chubbier than Eli's and as a result it took him to eight months just to start crawling- he wasn't quite yet pulling up to stand.
3 very distinctly different milestone charts- 3 very distinctly different children.
When Addison was born, milestones were VERY important to me. We knew she would have delays, but I was determined that MY child would ROCK THE SOCKS off of those therapists because SHE was AMAZING. She would still do everything shockingly early. She would SHOW Down syndrome who was boss!
And when she didn't perform to my expectations, I was crushed.
She dressed herself and picked out her own outfit. Why yes a shirt can absolutely be worn as a skirt.
He was supposed to be napping. (This is why Babe #3 sleeps in the Dining Room)
Yes, that is applesauce oatmeal muffin on his face- his favorite accessory.
Now I say- this isn't about me even a little bit. So I think I can push teeth through faster? That I'm responsible for the exact moment when an impish little person decides they want to take off into the mobility world? That my dedicated flashcards and at home therapy can FORCE a tongue to figure out words? That the obstacle course I designed and coached them through would CONVINCE legs that they should get on mommy's movement timetable?
Milestone: Learning where ice cream comes from
So as I do another day with the added difficulty of keeping a baby safe who no longer stays in one place while two toddlers are flying circles above his head (what? your kids didn't cross "flying" off their milestone charts???) (-; I am equally enjoying my 3 distinctly different children.
It's so interesting to see them at such different places on so many things and yet all be in the exact same place in my heart.